Monday, February 6, 2012

Paper Bag Check

My Daddy was an honorable man.  I remember one time he was in a store in Cody, and didn't have his checkbook, so he tore off a piece of brown paper bag, and wrote his "check" on that.  The merchant didn't hesitate to accept it.
I'm sure we have all heard the saying a man's word is his bond.  In the olden days, that would be when I was a kid, it actually meant something. Honor was held in high esteem.  It was well known throughout the community whose word was good and whose wasn't. Contracts, in those days were usually verbal and just sealed with a handshake.  For the honorable that was all that was needed. And Daddy was such a man.
"It was understood that if a man's word was no good, his "bond" therefore being no good, then he was no good either and he was not to be dealt with nor trusted. In those days this was a matter of severe disgrace. Honor meant something back then, and a man without honor was shamed. A man knew that if he was to be paid, he owed an honest day's work, and if he failed to give it, he didn't expect anything, as he had not earned it.  A man's character was all he had, and not to have a good character was a heavy burden to bear. A man without good character was looked down upon. He was "no count." A poor man of good character was more highly respected than a rich man without honor, and rightly so.
We live in an age now where not only is business no longer done with a handshake, but even a written contract is no good. Credit card companies, telephone companies, cell phone companies, mortgage companies, and other large businesses can change a written contract unilaterally, without notice, to your detriment, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it! In other words, a contract is no longer a contract. Where once a handshake constituted an iron-clad guarantee, now there are no guarantees at all! Honor, character, and a man's word, once more valued than gold, are largely anachronistic these days, reflecting the low level to which human relations in general have sunk in this Country. It is a sad state of affairs."Reflections

Ecclesiastes 5:5-6
It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.
Don't let your mouth make you sin. And don't defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.






8 comments:

  1. You know, I think a handwritten check is still technically legal but I doubt anyone would accept one now. I can remember my dad buying cars multiple times. He would call the banker at home and they would tell him to just write a check for it and come into the bank when he could to do the paperwork.

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    1. That is a great story about your dad. And I can relate to 'the olden days.' lol Honor and integrity are two words so often missing in today's society. A very sad state of affairs indeed!

      Be sure to stop in for the 25% discount Hope of Spring sale on all my handmade soaps, going on this week only.

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  2. That's an interesting story! Did the merchant take the "check" to the bank and cash it or was that more of an IOU? I agree, we've lost that honor and integrity from years ago. Hope you have a nice day!

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    1. The bank accepted it as a regular check

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  3. I remember my husband's amazement back in the mid-80s when we moved from Orlando, FL back to a small town in PA (the kind where they roll up the sidewalks at night) and no one required ID to write a check. The bank didn't even ask. Lots of places our business was welcomed just because of who my grandparents were. Those days are gone even in that little town, too. Thank goodness there is one guarantee we can believe in. :)

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  4. My father was an honorable man, too. I think that is one of the best legacies a man can leave. Love the check story. xo Diana

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  5. I was raised by my Daddy's sister, Reba and husband Forest. A good Christian home, clean, good food, church, no abuse from my Uncle. There was not a lot of hugging, but I know I was loved, especially my Papa.

    Papa was a man of his word, an honest man, kind and thoughtful. His word was easily his bond. I too remember the days of deals sealed with a handshake. We lived in a small Gulf Coast town, Papa was a building contractor, and later into real estate. He was loved and respected. His reputation had a profound effect on me.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  6. I so miss those days when a Yes meant Yes and a No meant No. I wonder if they will ever come back.

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